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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART FIVE CATECHESIS IN THE PARTICULAR CHURCH
    • CHAPTER IV The organization of catechetical pastoral care in the particular Churches
      • Organization and exercise of responsibilities
        • The diocesan service of catechesis
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CHAPTER IV

The organization of catechetical pastoral
care in the particular Churches

Organization and exercise of responsibilities

The diocesan service of catechesis

265. The organization of catechetical pastoral care has as its reference point the Bishop and the Diocese. The diocesan catechetical office (Officium Catechisticum) is "the means which the Bishop as head of the community and teacher of doctrine utilizes to direct and moderate all the catechetical activities of the diocese". (287)

266. The principal competencies of the diocesan office are the following:

a) to analyse the state of the diocese (288) with regard to education in the faith: such analysis must identify, amongst other things, the real needs of the diocese as far as catechetical praxis is concerned;

b) to develop a plan of action (289) which sets out clear objectives, proposes definite suggestions and shows concrete results;

c) to promote the formation of catechist: in this respect suitable centres shall be set up; (290)

d) to elaborate, or at least to indicate to parishes and to catechists, the necessary instruments for catechesis: catechisms, directories, programmes for different ages, guides for catechists, material for those being catechized, audio-visual aids etc.; (291)

e) to foster diocesan institutions of a specifically catechetical character (catechumenate, parochial catechesis, groups responsible for catechesis): these are the "basic cells" (292) of catechetical activity;

f) to improve personnel and material resources at diocesan level as well as at the level of the parish and the vicariates forane; (293)

g) to collaborate with the Liturgical Office given the relevance of Liturgy for catechesis, especially for catechumenal and initiatory catechesis.

267. To accomplish these responsibilities, the diocesan catechetical office should "have a staff of persons who have special competence. The extent and the diversity of the problems which must be handled demand that the responsibilities be divided among a number of truly skilled people". (294) Ordinarily, this diocesan service should be performed by priests, religious and laity. Catechesis is so basic to the life of every particular Church, that "no diocese can be without its own catechetical office". (295)




287) DCG (1971) 126. The diocesan office (officium catechisticum) was instituted in every diocese by the decree Provido Sane (1935): cf. AAS 27 (1935), p. 151; see also CIC 775 § 1.



288) Cf. DCG (1971) 100. the general lines are suggested in the Introduction and also in this chapter under the heading: Analysis of the situation and of needs.



289) Cf. DCG (1971) 103. See also in this chapter: "Programmes of catechetical actions and orientation".



290) Cf. DCG (1971) 108-109. See also Part V, chapter II.



291) Cf. DCG (1971) 116-124.



292) DCG (1971) 126.



293) Cf. CT 63. Pope John Paul II recommends that catechesis be given "pertinent and effective organization, putting in to operation the necessary personnel, means and equipment, and also financial resources".



294) DCG (1971) 126.



295) Ibidem.






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